It’s an exciting week for Surrey, but especially for Cloverdale, as a new and long-awaited hospital will be built there beside Kwantlen Polytechnic University located at 5500-180th Street.
For many years, complaints have been raised about Surrey Memorial Hospital not having enough resources to handle this city’s explosive growth, with the result being overworked doctors and nurses, long waits for care and patients being warehoused in hallways rather than being properly accommodated in proper rooms and beds.
The truth is, Monday’s announcement by Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix is long overdue as for decades the need for a second hospital in Surrey was kicked back and forth between respective NDP and Liberal provincial governments like an old weathered soccer ball.
Horgan indicated Monday that shovels could be in the ground by 2021.
The new hospital could have been in Panorama, but for the previous Liberal government selling a parcel of land there for what Surrey MLA Jinny Sims described, in 2018, as a firesale price of $20,516,000 in March 2014.
The result, she said, had the current NDP government “looking for land at these astronomically high prices right now” as a result of chronic government dithering.
The NDP has not yet revealed how much this new hospital will cost.
Undoubtedly it will cost much, much more than it would have in the 1990s when Mike Harcourt’s NDP provincial government bought the Panorama property near 152nd Street and Highway 10 as a potential site for a new hospital.
Still, better late than never, right?